B2B companies rely on leads to feed their sales pipeline and ultimately generate closed-won revenue for the business.
Lead generation is the process of getting visitors to your website and converting them into leads by capturing their information. But in a crowded marketplace, how do you ensure you’re using innovative approaches instead of just falling back on the same old demand generation playbook?
We’ve curated 10 fresh lead generation ideas to get you out of your demand generation rut. Here’s how to generate leads for your business.
Paid search advertising on search engines like Google is a great way to market to prospects searching online for topics related to your company’s offerings. Paid search ensures your site shows up at the top of the list when a potential prospect searches for terms relevant to your products or services.
For example, if your company offers a customer relationship management (CRM) tool, you might execute a paid search campaign that targets people looking for relevant search queries such as “customer success” or “B2B customer relationships.”
This is not a quick way to convert leads into customers, but it will help with generating a steady flow of relevant traffic to your company’s site. It’s not likely that a web visitor will click on your ad, visit your website, and immediately become a customer, but it will put your solution on their radar.
To generate leads, you need to be findable. That means making it easy for your ideal customers to find your products or services when they’re searching online.
Improving your website’s search engine optimization (SEO) is the best way to ensure potential prospects can find you organically.
Entire websites and businesses are built around SEO. Here’s what you need to know to help improve your website’s ranking:
You can do this work yourself or hire an SEO expert/company to make your website and landing pages rank higher for the desired keywords.
Whatever option you choose, improving your search engine ranking for relevant keywords will aid in the discoverability of your brand organically.
Customer referrals are incredibly effective for generating leads. If you’re not asking for referrals from customers who have had a good experience with your product or service, then you’re missing an opportunity to generate warm leads with a higher likelihood of closing.
People trust referrals from friends, family, coworkers, and industry experts. People are always looking for solutions to their business problems, and they’ll trust a referral for a product or service that has worked for someone they know.
Some customer referrals are free, as they’ll willingly talk about your products or services to others. However, you can offer incentives (e.g., a discount on current services or swag) to encourage your customers to provide referrals.
Either way, customer referrals are an effective and profitable way to generate leads. It’s practically free advertising—you just need to ask.
Most B2B companies can’t rely on inbound efforts alone to generate leads for sales.
Sales Development Reps (SDRs) are a great resource to leverage for reaching out directly to qualified accounts that fall within your company’s ideal customer profile (ICP).
Instead of waiting for prospects to come to you or explicitly raise their hands, SDRs conduct research to identify good-fit companies. They determine if the companies have intent to solve for a pain point that your solution addresses.
From there, SDRs reach out to them via email, phone, and social channels, often automated by sales engagement platforms, to engage with members of the buying committee.
Don’t ignore the leads that are right in front of your face: your current customers and organic email subscribers.
Your email list is a gold mine that you probably haven’t capitalized on fully. These people already have interest in what you have to offer.
Create an offer just for email subscribers (e.g., a discount or relevant content) and extend the offer to them for a limited time to create urgency and gauge interest.
Use a marketing automation platform to execute email campaigns based on your offer and use engagement metrics, like clicks and opens, as indicators that a subscriber or customer may be ready to buy.
Your customers are looking for solutions to their problems. Giving them a way to learn more about how to solve that problem, or educate themselves on how to choose the right solution, is a great way to generate leads.
A lead magnet is a free tool that will help potential customers address a need. It’s essentially a taste of how you can help them with their problem. It answers key questions or solves one part of the overall problem.
One way to create a lead magnet is to poll current and potential customers about what they would like to know about a topic related to your product or service. You can even ask your sales or CS team to compile a list of commonly asked questions. Then create a lead magnet that answers one of those questions.
For example, if you’re an IT security provider, you could create an eBook that provides a checklist of questions to ask when looking for an IT security provider. You could include common problems that customers face, with simple ways for them to address those problems. You could even detail how you solved related problems with your own product or service.
The lead magnet should contain real value. Include an effectively worded call to action (CTA) to generate and convert more leads.
If you’re a B2B business, odds are good that your target audience is on LinkedIn. According to their research, LinkedIn’s audience has 2X the buying power of the average web buyer.
You can use LinkedIn in several ways to generate leads:
LinkedIn is not the only place to connect with business professionals. You can attend networking events or join networking groups to generate leads.
COVID-19 has made it difficult to network with other professionals in person. However, online networking opportunities have grown in leaps and bounds, and (depending on where you live) in-person networking opportunities are becoming more prevalent.
Focus your networking efforts to get better lead-generating opportunities. Attend events relevant to your industry and geographic location to help get better results (and control your travel costs).
Do not treat networking like a sales meeting. Effective networking depends on building relationships and identifying long-term opportunities.
For example, you can use networking to meet potential suppliers or business partners, or people with whom you could share leads and referrals. You can also find industry leaders and experts to interview, as well as companies looking to republish your content for their own audience.
Content marketing is an effective strategy for promoting your business. Writing guest blogs will help to establish your brand as a thought leader in the space and get in front of an audience you may not have had access to before.
Writing blogs that get published on other websites will generate backlinks to your website, increase the traffic from relevant audiences, and improve your website’s overall discoverability online.
This strategy works best when writing guest blogs on websites that are not competitors but are within your industry. For example, you could write for industry association websites, or websites of suppliers and current customers.
Connecting with industry leaders and experts provides numerous opportunities to generate leads. This includes interviewing individuals to create thought leadership articles, blogs, podcasts, case studies, and other content.
People want to hear and read what experts have to say on topics relevant to their industry. Conducting and publishing these interviews positions you as a trusted resource, which will gain credibility within your target audience.
You can turn interviews with industry leaders and experts into content for your website. When interviewees publish this content on their website or share it on their social media channels, you’ll expand your reach to their networks as well.
Trying out new lead generation tactics will provide a steady stream of leads for your sales team and ultimately grow your customer base.